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Please Help me to decide where I should base myself in Tuscany (in December)

Please Help me to decide where I should base myself in Tuscany (in December)

Old Nov 1st, 2008, 05:35 PM
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I think the OP mentioned that she would be willing to rent a car - which would be necessary to visit the small villages in Tuscany.

Stu Dudley
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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 06:56 PM
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ooops... don't know where I got the idea that they preferred no car. Sorry.
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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 10:35 PM
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As I would be coming down from Venice, where would it better for me to base myself? I am deciding between Siena and the outskirts of Florence. Would you advise driving all the way from Venice and how many hours would it be?
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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 10:42 PM
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That's right - thanks, Stu it was Nat Geo Traveler
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 03:51 AM
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hi catherine,

as you are not gonig to have a car, I would definitely stay in florence for part of the time - you will have so much more to do and far more warmer places to see! it is NO FUN trudging round in the cold/wet which you could find yourselves doing a lot of if you are stuck in some little town or village.

there is loads to do in florence in a week and it's a great base for day trips. and great restaurants and wine bars to come back to at night.

you could rent an apartment to make it cheaper, though with two people only staying for a week, you may get a deal somewhere.

save the stay in the countryside for a better time of year.

regards, ann
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 03:57 AM
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Hi Ann
Most likely,we will be renting a car. If we rent a car, would it be wise if we base ourselves in Siena?
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 05:33 AM
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With a car I think that Siena makes a great base location. Look at the Santa Caterina hotel on the SS2 highway at the south edge of town---good location for day trips south. Being in Siena gives you good options if the weather is not ideal. You can walk to Il Campo in :15 from that hotel.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 06:25 AM
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I would stay in Siena. It's much easier to get in & out of by car than Florence. It's also much closer to the Val d'Orcia for day trips. There is lots of urban sprawl around Florence - less around Siena. You could take a train from Venice to Siena, spend the first day without a car, then rent a car & wander around the small villages, monastaries, & scenic countryside in the area.

I think Siena vs Florence really epends on how much countryside & small villages you want to see. I prefer the countryside south & west of Siena over Chianti to the north of Siena. Chianti is accessed easily from either Florence or Siena. If you do not plan to visit much countryside or small villages, than I would probably vote for staying in Florence because it is larger.

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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 06:55 AM
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There is a good Hertz office in Siena not far from the train station., (IF you decide train to Siena, then a car) We rented there one time,and another time they were very helpful when were passing through Siena and needed directions. Nice,friendly, English speaking office.
Driving through the Tuscan countryside is a real treat, stopping in towns like Pienza, Cortona, Montepulciano, Montalcino, San Gimigiano,Volterra, Greve en Cianti,(day trips or sometimes 2 a day!)
You could even base in one of these smaller towns once you pick up the car in Siena.
December should be interesting....we love traveling in the winter overseas...though it WILL often be "different" than "in season". Fun!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 07:55 AM
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Will it be difficult to find parking in Siena? And is there any area that should be avoided if we decided to base ourselves in Siena? Btw, is Siena "dead" in the evening?
Sorry if I have asked too many questions
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 08:39 AM
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Not if you pay attention to my previous advice. Stay on the perimeter of Siena.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 10:42 AM
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There is the lovely Garden Hotel in Siena....out of the center of town,(north) but still walking distance of about 15 minutes, or down a short hill about 100 yards to the city bus. Good location, and good car parking.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 12:22 PM
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If it's your honeymoon, take a look at Terre di Nano (http://www.terredinano.com/). My fiance and I just got engaged there and it was IDYLLIC! Apparently we were the 9th couple to get engaged there because it's so gorgeous.

It is a bit of a drive (a few minutes outside of Montepulciano and Montechiello), but it's absolutely worth it. Check out the images on their site (which include wintertime images). Plus it's incredibly affordable and the pool is heated and open year round.
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